Arizona Diamondbacks: Interest Will Grow in Justin Upton as Winter Progresses

Zak SchmollAnalyst INovember 18, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Justin Upton #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Colorado Rockies during the MLB game at Chase Field on October 2, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 5-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Justin Upton market has been somewhat quiet lately according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Cafardo that nobody has blown him away yet.

Of course, he is coming off of a down season where he only hit .280 with 17 home runs, 67 RBI, 18 stolen bases and a relatively high 121 strikeouts. People don't like to trade for slumping players.

However, even in that slump, you can see in those statistics what makes Upton such a singular player. He is one of the rare five-tool players in baseball. Of course, a lot was made of Mike Trout becoming the youngest 30-30 player ever at only 21 years old.

While Upton has not quite that plateau yet, at 23 years old in 2011, he hit 31 home runs with 21 stolen bases. Obviously, he didn't hit the 30-30 benchmark, but I think that you can see my point. His numbers have been good enough at points in his career to at least place him in that conversation.

As I already mentioned, 2012 was not a high point in his career. However, he did start to bring his numbers around in September and October. In 29 games, he hit .304 with six home runs, 14 RBI and five stolen bases. If he had been able to put up numbers like that every month, he would have easily been on track for career highs.

While looking at his 2012 season, it is somewhat understandable why the Arizona Diamondbacks have not had any top-of-the-line offers yet.

The other reason that might be possible lies in the fact that the free-agent market is still full. Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn and others have not found permanent homes yet. Obviously, they can only play for one team apiece, so whoever loses out on these top options might be more willing to meet the demands of the Diamondbacks.

The market has not changed an awful lot in Arizona, but it is important to remember that it will. But it is down season, he is still a productive player, and the free-agent market will eventually dry up for these other options.


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